Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Late Start

Friday was SUCH an exciting day…I finally got to go to a sale. And actually spent two whole bucks! After I added them to my garaging spreadsheet, I took a look back through the years. This spreadsheet goes back to 2005, and never have I had to wait until February is almost over to make a notation. At first I was inclined to think the reason was geographic – after all, the winter weather in Southern California is more conducive to this sport – but heck, I've been back in Oregon over 10 years now.

There has been a handful of sales, mostly estate sales, since the first of the year, but nothing I saw in the pictures tempted me at all. The sale my friend Lysa and I stopped at had sewing things listed, so my excuse for going was to look for tools and notions. I don't sew all the time, but when I want to make something I don't want to pay full price for a tool or thread or whatever to accomplish the task.

This particular sale turned out to be smaller than the description made it sound and just as overpriced as estate sales tend to be. I think I may have purchased the only four items priced at fifty cents in the whole place. I did indeed find a sewing tool – a package of needle threaders. 

These have not changed one iota since I was a tot, poking through my grandma’s things and wondering what this little silver doodad was for. Of course now you can buy brightly colored plastic ones, which might actually make some sense because the reason I bought these is that I can't find the ones I know I already have. But…plastic. And even though the fifty cent price on these was not much less than the seventy-five cents they cost originally, believe me they are a bit more expensive now. Like between $3.00 and $10.00!

Rummaging through a box of kitchen odds and ends, I picked out a silicone sink strainer.

And back in a bedroom I found two embroidered pillowcases. Which I grabbed partly because of the price, and partly because when I made the bed that morning I discovered one of the pillowcases had ripped several inches on the back. 

When I got home and looked more closely, I began to see that these pillowcases have a history. I noticed that they were homemade, with more seams than usual. They are constructed of narrow strips of fabric pieced together to get enough yardage. 

As I handled them I realized that two different fabrics were used – one feels like percale sheeting, and the other is more of a muslin weight. The embroidery pattern is identical and must have been an iron-on design. When I looked closely I could see where one flower is missing its green stem and leaves. Maybe it simply got missed, or perhaps they ran out of green embroidery floss.

I'm imagining two little sisters, learning how to “make do and mend” at their mother’s knee by piecing together leftover fabric, and making their pillowcases beautiful with embroidery. 

I wish I could tell the makers how much I like them.

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